Oregon truckers fight diversion of highway funds

Charging that the state of Oregon used highway funds to instead build websites — then jacked up the cost of driving records by nearly 400% to recoup some of the money it spent illegally, trucking, construction and insurance groups have sued Oregon, according to a Courthouse News Service report.

The Oregon Trucking Assns. and six other plaintiffs accuse the state's Dept. of Transportation and Dept. of Administrative Services of "diverting revenues from the Highway Trust Fund to build websites for state administrative agencies."

The current cost of driving records is $2, according to the complaint, and would increase to $9.68 per record for a 384% increase.

"The unauthorized increase in cost of driving records and the unconstitutional diversion of the revenues from the sale of the driving records sacrifice Oregonian's jobs and motoring safety so that the state agencies may have nicer websites," the complaint states.

The Oregon Constitution limits the use of the highway fund "to the construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, maintenance, operation and use of the state's public highways, roads, streets and roadside rest areas," according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs claim the Oregon Attorney General's Office already told the agencies they did not have the authority to divert the funds. 

The Oregon Trucking Assn. is joined by the Oregon-Idaho AAA, the Oregon-Columbia Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, Redmond Heavy Hauling, Gordon Wood Insurance and Financial Services, Property Casualty Insurers Assn. of America, and the National Assn. of Mutual Insurance Companies. They are asking that the money from purchasing of driving records be returned to the Highway Trust Fund.

 

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